The Opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) has accused police of brutality and double standards after the Force used dispersed the party’s gathering in in Jinja City on Sunday.
At least 13 party supporters were arrested by police and several others were injured during the standoff as the Force used teargas and rubber bullets
According to police, NUP was holding an unlawful assembly at YMCA training centre in Jinja City.
Mr James Mubi, the Kiira Region Police Spokesperson, said the suspects were mainly from Iganga, Kampala and Busia among other destinations.
“We have also impounded three vehicles, tents and chairs in their possession and are working expeditiously to have all avenues exhausted and the suspects taken to court,” Mr Mubi said on Sunday.
Mr Mubi added: “There was a deception at YMCA; while requesting for a venue, the organisers said they have a wedding reception. How a wedding reception turned into an unlawful political gathering is a matter we are fully investigation.”
Mr Andrew Kaluya, the former Kigulu South MP, who has since crossed from NRM to NUP and was in attendance, said they were expecting about 500 youth but by the time they were dispersed, about 200 had arrived.
“About 500 NUP foot soldiers from Busoga Sub-region were summoned to Jinja for a retreat. The intention of the meeting was to get together and train mobilisers.
“However, police stormed the venue, saying that the gathering was unlawful and gave us three minutes to disperse. And indeed after three minutes, they started firing teargas, line bullets and rubber bullets,” Mr Kaluya said in a telephone interview.
According to Mr Kaluya, over 30 NUP supporters were arrested, with some reportedly picked up from as far as Bugembe.
“As long as you had a red beret or red clothes on, you were arrested. Imagine the incident was in Jinja City but some people waiting to board taxis to Iganga were arrested, including Grace Ndizawa, the chairperson of foot soldiers in Iganga,” Mr Kaluya added.
Mr Kaluya accused police of alleged double standards, saying there’s a person who has been in Kapchorwa and Mbale City with brass bands and political intentions, but hasn’t been arrested.
“But us who are seated in in an enclosed environment, sealed off with barbed wire have been shot at. I don’t see their (Police) professionalism,” he added.
NUP Principal, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, also known as Bobi Wine, in a tweet, said: “This morning, Police in Jinja attacked a peaceful gathering of our comrades and injured several of them. Many are in critical condition (while) others were violently arrested. . .”